Superstar: Salman Khan in action in his new outing, Kick.


DIRECTOR: Sajid Nadiadwala

CAST: Salman Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Randeep Hooda, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mithun Chakraborty


RUNNING TIME: 146 minutes

RATING: ****

THE charismatic Salman Khan outing, Kick, is a remake of the Telugu hit Kick (2009; directed by Surender Reddy and starring Ravi Teja, Ileana D’Cruz and Shaam).

But there’s a world of a difference between Kick, directed by Sajid Nadiadwala, and Salman’s last few entertainers. This one’s more stylised, has opulence and gloss in every frame and is very international in terms of its execution.

However, the question remains the same: is Kick blockbuster material?

The premise of Kick, first: on a train journey in Warsaw, a psychiatrist, Shaina (Jacqueline Fernandez), meets Himanshu (Randeep Hooda), a police officer from India, for an arranged match.

They share their pasts with each other, Shaina the story of her ex-boyfriend, Devi Lal Singh (Salman Khan), a guy who lived only for “Kick” (adventure). She talks about his madness and their whirlwind romance, until one day he breaks up with her for a new kick and walks away, never to return.

Himanshu tells her about his glorious escapades and that he has finally met his match – an intelligent thief.

What they don’t know is that their stories have one thing in common – Devi Lal. He comes back into their lives under a new guise of having lost his memory. Behind it all is a deeper mystery and an uncompromising mission.

Kick marks Sajid’s debut as a director and although he might have looked South to choose the story, when it comes to executing the written material, the inspiration is clearly the West: the larger-than-life Hollywood fare.

Having produced more than a dozen movies, he has experience and expertise and knows precisely how to use the familiar tropes to his advantage. Sajid conjures up a world that combines visual brilliance with several knockout episodes.

Like Salman, Sajid too has a one-point agenda: entertainment. As a matter of fact, the frantic twists and turns in the storyline are proof that Sajid and his writing team are keen to offer the audience that extra dose of entertainment which would make Kick a kickass entertainer.

Kick has the magnificence (in terms of production values) that was lacking in Salman’s previous movies. This is a big-ticket movie and Sajid, who has produced larger-than-life extravaganzas in the past, makes sure every frame appears luminous, tasteful, eye-catching.

Be it the spectacular locales of Warsaw or the classy sets, the director of photography (Ayananka Bose) encapsulates the plush, up- market look with competence. The spectator also gets an international feel during the high-octane stunts, action and chases, which garnish the goings-on magnificently. The train stunt is the talk of town.

Also, the chase in Warsaw, with Salman driving a bus, makes you gasp in disbelief.

Any hiccups? Yes, of course! The first half could’ve been tighter. A few sequences have been stretched at times (Salman and Mithun in the bar). The songs deserved better situations. The romantic track, in the second hour specifically, could’ve been more persuasive.

The soundtrack remains true to the genre of the film and the popularity of Jumme Ki Raat and Yaar Na Miley, which appears twice in the film, enhances the overall impact. Salman is committed, charming and competent, so much so that it’s difficult to take your eyes off him.

Post Dabangg, those who felt hiss movies lacked a cohesive script to match his superstardom, are sure to feel satiated with Kick, since the film gives him the platform to exhibit his range as an actor/star.

Randeep Hooda is supremely efficient, delivering a performance that stays with you. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a powerhouse of talent and Kick gives him the opportunity to cross over to the commercial league. Nawazuddin is simply outstanding.

Jacqueline Fernandez does very well, although her diction needs to be worked on. She dance in Jumme Ki Raat is sure to stun you. Mithun Chakraborty is in top form again. The sequence with Salman towards the concluding moments will stay with you.

Kick is sure to rewrite box office records. Salman fans, rejoice. Kick is a sure-shot blockbuster. –